Home on the page @ www.securitymanagement.com. (News and Trends).
Facial recognition. Seems like everyone's chiming in on the use of facial recognition technology, with Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)--who typically sing different tunes--recently speaking in harmony. In a joint statement with the ACLU, Armey lambasted the use of facial recognition technology, warning that it is "ineffective and will lead the police to stop people who have done nothing wrong." (In fact, because of a published facial image taken from the system in Tampa's entertainment district, an Oklahoma man has already been falsely identified as a wanted criminal.) Armey also warned that facial recognition could lead to "high-tech racial profiling." (In light of the September 11 attacks, an Armey spokesperson said that Armey felt substantially the same, but that use in high-risk areas should be debated.)
But John D. Woodward, Jr., a senior policy analyst with RAND, issued a report favoring at least limited use of the technology. "[W]e should not let the fear of potential but inchoate threats to privacy...deter us from using facial recognition where it can produce positive results," he wrote. Woodward also proposed policy recommendations for preserving privacy such as a clear set of standards that sets forth the criteria for a photo to be placed in a database. Also, in the aftermath of September 11, facial recognition vendor Visionics has issued a white paper promoting the technology's use in airports and elsewhere. SM Online has the Armey/ACLU statement, the RAND issue paper, and the Visionics white paper.
Interviewing. When people are asked questions that require recall, studies have shown that they tend to look off in different directions, either to the side or at an angle, as they try to retrieve the information, Can investigators learn to read this body language and use that knowledge to build rapport with a subject and maximize his or her recall? The proponents of an interviewing skill called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) assert that they can. They say that witnesses' eye movements give clues to their thought processes. If they look off at an angle, for example, it suggests that they rely on visual (rather than auditory or emotional) representations of memory, and thus the interviewer should ask questions that encourage visual recall, such as "how did it look to you" or "show me what you mean." A witness who looks to the side, however, responds best to auditory questions or requests (such as "tell me what you heard"), according to NLP principles. And someone who looks down after a question would be be st asked questions that underscore feelings or emotions (such as "can you get a handle on what took place?"). An article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, available on SM Online, explains principles of NLP and how they can help to build a rapport with witnesses.
Organized crime. Uralmash may sound like the latest alcoholic export from the peaks of western Russia, but it is actually a lot more potent than anything from a bottle: It is a powerful organized crime group operating in the Urals, the area of Russia hit hardest by that type of crime. The Uralmash group is the most dangerous in the region, with its hierarchical command structure and involvement across various criminal enterprises. Ties to politicians and law enforcement are strong, and the group effectively controls 140 commercial enterprises, including banks and a law firm.
School violence. Another article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin offers tips for communities in preventing and planning for school violence, as well as practicing plans and conducting drills aimed at combating it. For example, the article calls for developing and practicing emergency response plans that address such specific crises as anthrax scares, bomb threats, bus accidents, and school shootings.
Competing for primacy in the region are the "central" criminal group, which focuses on white-collar crime, and the "blues" network, the organization with the largest membership, which gets much of its funds from the extortion of businesses and payments from criminals and criminal groups. A report by James 0. Finckenauer and Yuri A. Voronin for the National Institute of Justice explores the threat posed by these and other groups, both to Russia and the international community. For example, Uralmash members are suspected of trafficking in nuclear materials. Read the report on SM Online.
Another document transcribes the school-safety-oriented testimony of a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, Jaana Juvonen, before the California State Assembly Select Committee on School Safety. Noting that bullying or being bullied "is now considered a warning sign of potentially violent students," Juvonen presented a model of violence prevention containing three components: an explicit anti-harassment school policy, instruction for all students on conflict resolution skills, and "case-by-case staff mediation that reinforces both school policy and instruction." Juvonen's testimony and the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin article are on SM Online. (See also this month's feature article on bully prevention at schools on page 68.)
Fraud. The glacial pace and hierarchical headaches of the procurement process have long bedeviled the military. For some San Diego Naval units, however, that's not a problem anymore: Employees have been issued Visa or MasterCard purchase cards. The new problem is that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has discovered that cardholders have been using Pentagon money to buy personal items. This fraud, waste, and abuse resulted from weak internal controls, flawed or nonexistent policies and procedures, and disregard of actual policies and procedures. For example, no policy effectively limited the issuance of cards, so more than one-third of employees at one Navy facility had de facto procurement power, the GAO found. In another audit, the GAO cited internal control weaknesses at the U.S. Department of Education that have led to improper payments, including those resulting from fraud and abuse.
The Australian government is having its own fraud problems, according to the Australian National Audit Office, which found that the Australian Taxation Office has bungled investigations of sales tax fraud cases. The three documents are on SM Online.